News / Middle East

VOA Interview: Egypt Presidential Hopeful Outlines Vision

Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (file photo)
Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (file photo)
Mohamed Elshinnawi
Egyptian presidential hopeful Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is a practicing physician with extensive experience in international relief work. A former leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, he is also a prominent Islamic activist. Known for his relatively liberal positions on social issues, he is supported by young Islamists, liberals and even Egypt's Copts.  (You can listen to the full podcast in Arabic here.)

Elshinnawi: If you are elected president, what will priorities will you set for your first 100 days in office?

Aboul Fotouh: Restoring security and stability would be my number one priority because the current laxity in security is a remnant of the Mubarak regime. His police officials are abusing their authority in order to spread instability. Tight security is crucial to restarting our economy and attracting and maintaining the flow of investment.

Elshinnawi: There is one looming challenge for the new president--the sentencing of former President Mubarak, scheduled for June 2nd. If he is acquitted and you are the elected president, what will you do?

Aboul Fotouh: While I respect court rulings, it is a well-known fact that the trials of members of the deposed regime have lacked the cooperation of the executive branch in terms of providing prosecutors and investigators with documents necessary for justice to prevail. So I will not hesitate to order a retrial of Mubarak and his associates. The new trial would take place within a new rule of law to ensure that the judiciary is completely independent from the executive branch.

Elshinnawi: Your platform calls for transforming the Egyptian economy into one of the world's top 20 economies by 2020. How would you be able fulfill that promise, given the ailing state of the Egyptian economy?

Aboul Fotouh: Egypt's economy will never collapse. In the medium range, we will be able to rejuvenate the economy by opening the door to Egyptian, Arab and foreign investment. I have met with many investors, and they have assured me that they are just waiting for the environment to stabilize before resuming their investments in Egypt. They realize that a trusted and elected leadership will pave the way for realizing the great potential of the Egyptian economy.

Elshinnawi: Social justice is a major goal of the Egyptian revolution, but it requires huge resources to achieve. How would you deal with that issue?

Aboul Fotouh: I would work to achieve that goal gradually, starting with two huge projects to provide quality education and healthcare, as well as make improvements to the infrastructure in poorer areas. While Egypt will continue to have a free economy, with private sector comprising 75 percent of all economic activity, the state has to ensure social justice by securing minimum income and providing job opportunities.

Elshinnawi: What role you envision for Egyptian expatriates in rebuilding Egypt?

Aboul Fotouh: We now have about 8 million Egyptians living abroad. We trust their loyalty and love for their homeland. Most of these Egyptians left the country because they were fleeing 30 years of an authoritarian regime and its corruption. Now they can contribute to rebuilding a post-revolutionary Egypt either through their technical skill or investment.

Elshinnawi: You have promised to make the Egyptian army the strongest in the region. Would you maintain the army's economy as it has been running--apart from the general budget?

Aboul Fotouh: Nothing would operate outside the state budget. Anything that currently falls outside the budget will be brought back into it, because my platform calls for budget unity. All national resources will be subjected to scrutiny and auditing. That would not contradict our keen interest in supporting a strong professional army to protect our homeland and secure our development.

Elshinnawi: Some still consider you a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood and fear if they were to vote for you, Egypt would end up being controlled by an Islamist parliament, government and an Islamist president. What would you say to them?

Aboul Fotouh: There is no problem in having a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, but as I announced from day one, I am running as an independent candidate, representing all Egyptians. I chose to be independent to serve the whole country, as opposed to representing a single party or a single group. Now, we see that the Muslim Brotherhood has fielded a second candidate after their first choice was disqualified. So no one can claim that I am the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

Elshinnawi: Some Islamists are calling for changing the constitution to implement Islamic law. Do you agree with them?

Aboul Fotouh: Nothing needs to be changed. Article Two of the constitution stipulates that Islamic law is the major source for legislation. That notion is still widely supported by all and would not be touched. Egypt has been a civil--not a theocratic--state for 15 centuries and will be a modern democratic state that respects Islamic law as a reference for legislation under the auspices of the High Constitutional Court.

Elshinnawi: Some presidential candidates have pledged to reconsider the Camp David accords or renegotiate some of its articles. What are your thoughts?

Aboul Fotouh: This treaty needs and deserves reconsideration. The elected parliament should review and reconsider the Camp David agreement, because some of its articles encroach on Egyptian national security and interests.

Elshinnawi: U.S. – Egyptian relations are considered important to both countries. During Mubarak’s era, that relationship entailed strategic cooperation. How do you see the future of Egypt’s relationship with the U.S.?

Aboul Fotouh: We are keen to have good relations with the U.S., but we need to reformulate that relationship in order to secure Egypt’s interests and prevent Egypt from being a satellite state. As for strategic cooperation, it is a term that was coined to, in essence, make Egypt a satellite state in the U.S. policy orbit, at the expense of Egypt’s interests. We will not allow that to be the case with any country. Instead, our relations would be based on common interests and mutual respect.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: OSLO NORWAY
May 18, 2012 3:19 AM
THISIS ABW ALFTWH IS ONE THE LEDEAR GROUP ALGMAAAH ALASLAMEH THE GROUP HAVE IN ABW ALFTWH WITH ALTHWHRI . THIS IS BECOME START GROUP ALGMAAH ALSLAMEH AS GROUP IN BY TIME EX POLITIC LAND OF FRO THE MR MHM DHSNI MBARK AND TIME EX POLITIC LAND OF FRO MR MHMD ANWR ALSTAT GROUP POLITIC 23TH07TH1952TH THE GROUP HAVE GMAL ABD ALNASR ALLTHI WITH ZKREA MHE ALDEN AWITH KHALD MHI ALDEN WITH . THIS IS WAY NOW AS THE COMWITHOUT ALL GROUP ALGMAAH ALASLAMEHGROUP ABW ALFTWH ANDALTHWHRI .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid